Hey friend, do you ever feel poked?
Many of you know—I’ve changed a lot in the last few years.
I’ve grown, and I do feel I’m a completely different person than I was 3 or 5 years ago. I hope to continue evolving forever. But there was a turning point when I first started this “personal work.”
When I first realized how “numb” I felt emotionally and how unhappy I really was, I started to turn inward and address some of what was unresolved within myself.
Many of you know, taking a look at ourselves is hard work—there’s a lot there I didn’t want to see. You may feel poked.
But what made it harder was being around people who “knew me” as I was before.
These people expected me to be my regular “conditioned” self—to show up in the way I always had. They were poking me. But that was the “old” me, the unhappy version of myself that I didn’t want to be. It wasn’t “wrong,” necessarily, for people to expect me to be a certain way—after all, I’d always been that way!
When I wanted to show up differently, which is already challenging enough as it is, their expectations could make me feel “stuck.” I continued to pursue my authenticity anyway, and eventually, I found my new ground.
But I try to keep the lesson I learned through my own struggle close—not to impose my expectations on others. That's "poking" them.
This excerpt from Shmuel Goldman felt relevant to share—
"I have a friend. A woman I already know for many years. One day she is mad at me. From nowhere it comes. I have insulted her, she tells me. How? I don’t know. Why don’t I know. Because I don’t know her.
She surprised me. That’s good. That is how it should be. You cannot tell someone: I know you. People jump around. They are like a ball. Rubbery, they bounce. A ball cannot be long in one place. Rubbery, it must jump. So what do you do to keep a person from jumping? The same as with a ball. You take a pin and stick it in, make a little hole. It goes flat. When you tell someone: I know you—you put in a little pin.
So what should you do? Leave them be. Don’t try to make them stand still for your convenience. You don’t ever know them. Let people surprise you. This likewise you could do concerning yourself."
Truly, to let people surprise us and to not impose our expectations is one of the greatest acts of compassion we can offer.
We want those in our lives to grow into their best selves—so we need to let them.
To let go of our views and let people evolve—it serves everyone. Really, it is a gift.
Do you feel poked? I had to let some of the people closest to me know I was feeling poked, and ask for their help so I could have space to grow.
This work is hard, but I do see now that feeling anything is better than feeling nothing.
This week I encourage you to notice if you feel poked by others or if you are, perhaps, holding others to expectations.
Sending light and love your way,